Picked this up via Contentions - Jeffery Anderson of the Weekly Standard comes up with a health care reform proposal that costs "only" $34 billion (but still only 5% of the cost of the Baucus Plan) and becomes deficit-neutral over twenty years. The basics:
1. Leave employer-provided insurance as it is and give individuals a $2,500 tax credit to equalize tax treatment for individuals who buy their own insurance.
2. Allow individuals to buy insurance across state lines.
3. Extend COBRA for up to 30 months, allowing people to keep their insurance if they leave a job.
4. Remove government regulations limiting insurers from offering premium breaks for healthy lifestyle choices.
5. Enact real malpractice reform (limit punitive damages to $250,000 and all noneconomic damages to $750,000).
6. Provide help to encourage insurance pools for the hard to insure
Ten-year totals: $15 billion in increased spending in Year-1, gradually declining to $0 in Year-10; average of $34.5 billion per year in tax cuts — all for the uninsured or self-insured.
Here's how it compares to the Democrat's plan after ten years:
Spending Increases $856 billion
Tax Increases $354 billion
Tax Cuts $2 billion
Increased Fines $47 billion
% Americans Insured 95%
Spending increases $75 billion
Tax increases $0
Tax Cuts $345 billion
Increased fines $0
% of Americans insured 95%
Over twenty years the "Small Bill" becomes revenue neutral, while the Baucus Plan puts us in a $2.9 trillion dollar hole.
Where are the Congressional/Senate Republicans on all this? Grab this plan and plaster it all over the airwaves; show Americans how you can get it done for 1/20 the cost and without handing over health care to the bureaucrats in Washington. Offer an alternative, watch the public response, and then see the Democrats try to pass a bill that thwarts the will of the people, and exposes their underlying purpose here: Not to reform health care, but to nationalize it, and bring a huge chunk of the economy under Washington's control.
It would be the last bill this majority ever passes....